When we lived in the North, snow was a very common occurrence in the winter. We participated in many of the winter sports. I owned a pair of ice skates and skis. We had toboggans, sleds and snow shovels just sitting in the garage waiting to be used… and they were… often.
Since we have moved to a more temperate climate, snow is rarer. So rare, in fact, that when it happens, we are dismally unprepared for it.
We do have a box of mittens and gloves that we have collected over the years, but it’s a minor miracle to find a matching pair. We also have some sno-tubes that we bought when we took a trip to the mountains a couple winters ago.
A snow shovel is something we only think of after we’re snowed-in. When the snow melts, we know we won’t need one for another year or two. So, no, we don’t have a snow shovel.
This was our snow-readiness status when the snow fell last weekend. We heard the forecast, but we had had forecasts for snow three times this winter and it had never happened. We made sure our grill had propane in case we lost power and needed to cook something. We made sure there was wood for the fireplace. My husband actually looks forward to power outages. It’s like a camping trip for him.
We even became part of the hoard of shoppers that go through the motions of buying the usual stock-ups: milk, bread, water, and canned goods. Then we waited to see if the weatherman was right this time. Well, this time he was right. We still had no shovel, but the kids took the sno-tubes out to play and promptly put holes in all three of them.
Then they came up with some very creative alternatives for getting from point A (top of the hill) to point B (bottom of the hill) on an icy surface.
My daughter tried using the deflated sno-tubes, but realized very quickly that throwing herself onto an inflated sno-tube was very different than throwing herself onto a deflated sno-tube. Plus, it didn’t go far either. The eight-year old thought the top of his Lego box would do the trick, but the hand-me-down boots he was wearing were still too big and didn’t fit in the lid at the same time his tushie was occupying it. The thirteen-year old decided his skim board for the beach would work just as well on snow. It slid just fine. Unfortunately, it was just as slippery on the top as it was on the bottom. His rubber rain boots didn’t have a lick of traction on the waxed wood. He tried putting masking tape on the top for traction, but when the masking tape peeled up and wrapped around his boots, he merely succeeded in planting his face in the snow-covered pavement.
My daughter had the brilliant idea of using a large piece of cardboard. It tore down the hill like a bat out of hell, until it hit a rough spot. Then it stopped dead while my daughter continued on down the hill on her rather fast-moving behind.
They tried an old plastic For Sale sign that was in the garage with pretty much the same results. They even stuffed a pillow into a large plastic trash bag and rode it down the hill. I had to put a stop to that, though, because I only have so many pillows and I saw what they did to the sno-tubes. All in all, I considered our snow day a triumph because, 1. We didn’t lose power and 2. My kids played outside nearly all day and they also used some of their untapped creative juices to find a way to utilize the rare snowfall for fun. Who says snow days have to be unproductive?